Closure notice: From Tuesday 28th September Gamlingay Wood will be closed to the public for approximately 2 weeks while tree felling is being done by forest machinery.
Access to the wood is by foot only. Please note there is no parking available at Gamlingay Wood, but the reserve remains open to the public accessing it by foot.
Please do not park on the road verges.
Access to the southern wood entrance is via the permissive path from Long Lane (next to the Gamlingay parish allotments). Nearest parking is 200m to the west of allotments on Church end road.
Access to the northern wood entrance is from the Waresley \ Gamlingay road (B1040) then south across a surfaced farm track. Nearest parking is Waresley Garden centre approx. 0.75 mile to the east.
Know before you go
Parking informationNo parking available. Please do not park on the road verges.
There are numerous pathways throughout the wood, including the 3km Rippengal's Walk, named for Robert Rippengal, see Additional information below.
Wide level main rides. Some minor paths are rough. All can be very wet and muddy in winter and spring, especially during bluebell season.
When to visit
Opening timesOpen at all times
Best time to visitspring and autumn
About the reserve
The ancient woodland (48Ha) is at least a thousand years old, and the character and diversity of wonderful wildlife here reflects it.
For centuries, the wood has been important to the local community as a valuable source of building materials and firewood. We continue to carry out traditional coppicing, supplying thatching materials, stakes for hedgelaying and even beanpoles in Gamlingay to this day. The ancient wood is primarily oak, ash and field maple, with an understorey of hazel and hawthorn.
In parts of the wood, conifers were planted after the Second World War; we are gradually removing these. Due to the different soil types throughout the wood, the flora is very diverse. On sandier soils there is bracken, primrose and foxglove, whereas on the clay soils, bluebells, oxlips and wood anemones thrive.
Myriad insects live in the wood, including speckled wood and purple hairstreak butterflies, longhorn beetles and several species of dragonfly. Along the grassy rides and paths, clouds of butterflies rise up from the flowers, then, as dusk gathers, bats hawk along the rides to take advantage of the abundance of moths. Birds are active year-round, whether trilling warblers, tapping woodpeckers or hooting owls.
Nearby Sugley Wood (22 hectares) is former arable land purchased by the Trust in 2002. Slowly reverting to woodland, it is already home to many mammals, while farmland birds such as yellowhammer and skylark fly overhead. In the evening, barn owls hunt silently.
We mow the rides and paths and coppice along the edges to allow more light for flowers and butterflies. Sections of the wood are fenced to prevent deer damage.
Gamlingay Wood is owned and managed as a nature reserve by The Wildlife Trust BCN. The reserve is very popular with visitors so balancing wildlife conservation with public access is very important to the Trust. There are no public rights of way within the woodland, however the Trust does allow permissive access for the public to visit.
We want people to enjoy the woods but as the landowner we may withdraw permissive access if there are concerns about public safety and to protect sensitive wildlife habitats.
CLOSURE NOTICE: FROM TUESDAY 28TH SEPTEMBER GAMLINGAY WOOD WILL BE CLOSED TO THE PUBLIC FOR APPROXIMATELY 2 WEEKS WHILE TREE FELLING IS BEING DONE BY FOREST MACHINERY.
- Rippengal's Walk is named for Robert Rippengal, an archaeologist by training. Robert was the founder and director of a Cambridge-based company selling wood-fuelled renewable heating systems. He enjoyed walking in the woods and was inspired by the Trust’s Vision of expanding and joining its woodlands. After he died tragically while walking in the mountains, his friends and family felt that supporting the Trust’s woodland work was a fitting memorial.
- Gamlingay Wood is part of the West Cambridgeshire Hundreds Living Landscape.
- There is a work party at this reserve. See the Cambridgeshire work party page for more information.
- Scroll down to see the reserve boundary. Please note the boundary map is for indication purposes only and does not show the Wildlife Trusts definitive land boundary.
FOR ANY MEDIA ENQUIRIES PLEASE CONTACT OUR COMMUNICATIONS TEAM: email@example.com or 01954 713500 and ask for Comms team.